Wednesday, July 31, 2013

That Would Be Me, Too...

... if I'd have shook Number Nine's hand back in his playing days.  I took the vid from a "12 Greatest Hockey Commercials" post at  This ad kinda made me a lil bit misty.

Getting Away and a Blast From the Past

I'm about to go on vacation, too, so this resonates with me.  I mean... we ALL have to get up off of the verandah, put the beer down, and do something, right?  As for me... I'm gonna drive out to DeeSee and parts o' Northern Virginia (Langley Airplane Patch, specifically).  We mulled over flying out there but decided on a road trip, instead.  There are two reasons for that: (a) I took a vow to NEVER fly again after the fucking TSA confiscated my USS MASON Zippo (I understand their point: ya gotta make SURE a 60-something old guy doesn't hijack an airliner with a fucking lighter) and (b) I haven't done a serious road trip since 2010... a 3300 mile jaunt out to South Carolina, up to Pittsburgh, and back... in The Green Hornet.  Before that it was 2007 when I took The Zuki on a 2200+ mile trip up to Utah.  Back then I billed the Utah trip as a Last Hurrah, and it was... on a mo'sickle.  This time The Tart and I are gonna go explore some Blue Highways on the east side of this great country.  I think THIS road trip will be a lot more comfortable than the previous two, but that said: we have some planning to do.


And then there's this:

I was 12 at the time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Which We Pull the Ol' "Calling In Well" Trick

From a few years back (and a month ago, too)...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Calling In Well

Towards the end of my working life there was a point in time I took to calling in well whenever "things" got a bit too much.  Which is to say something like this hypothetical phone call:
Boss: Hello?
Me:  Hey.  It's Buck.  I won't be in today.
Boss: Are you OK?
Me:  Oh yeah.  I'm great.  As a s'matter of fact I feel too damned good to come in.
Boss: (short pause, followed by laughter)  OK... see ya tomorrow!
That was about the way it went the first time I pulled that stunt.  I didn't do it all that often, mind you, mebbe once or twice a year and NEVER when there was "stuff" going on that required my presence.  I usually did it after some sorta death march was completed, which is to say the kind of activity that required an endless procession of 12 to 14 hour days.  It was my own personal form of R&R, in other words.  I never once pulled that trick in the Air Force, needless to say.  The military, even the AF, tend to take a rather dim view of that sort of attitude.  There's that "duty" thang, yanno?  But it isn't so in the civilian world, given you have the right sort of leadership.  And I did.

We're calling in well today here at EIP.  While I feel REALLY good I also have zero motivation my inner eight year old pulling his usual stunt.  Even My Buddy Ed In Florida seems to be on hiatus at the moment, having failed to send me any of his drollery.  Mebbe everyone is kinda-sorta calling in well today.

So there's this... one of my favorite pics from the way-back:

I went googling for a Happy Face to accompany this post and nuthin' struck my fancy... until I realized I had the happiest of Happy Faces right here in the archives.  He was a beautiful baby, nu?
Hey!  At least ya get a cute baby pic, eh?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

And now for sumthin' completely different...

It's all about the precision, Gentle Reader.   Brilliant, simply BRILLIANT.

The h/t goes to Occasional Reader, Constant Correspondent, and Good Buddy Rob.


The drug in question on my messy desktop.
I've had this post percolating in the back o' my mind for some time now but haven't done anythang with it until now.  Just to set the stage... it came to pass about four months ago that I was having trouble falling asleep in the evenings (or early mornings, you choose), unless my Ol' Ass was parked in front o' the teevee, at which time sleep came all TOO easily.  I'd retire to my bedchambers, turn out the lights and toss and turn for what seemed like hours before sleep came.  So I decided to purchase what you see above: a potion called "Sleep," by an outfit called NatureMade.  The "all-natural" bits consist primarily o' melatonin and L-theanine and the good news is the stuff seems to work.  I've been taking one of these pills before bedtime for about four months now and have no trouble falling asleep any longer.

But the better news is my dreams have become a LOT more interesting and vivid (but NOT vivid like this).  I'm 99.4% certain the pills are the cause o' this phenomenon and I'm also 99.4% certain my better dreams are the reason I'm still taking this stuff.  Hell, my dreams are like an E-ticket ride at Disneyland these days and I'm not gonna give up "Sleep" anytime soon.

So what prompted this?  Well, I read this post by that other Old AF Sarge today.  My dreams are pretty good, but I can't hold a candle to his.  Mebbe I'll up my dosage.

Plane Pr0n and More On Col. Day

From the Usual USAF Source:

Air Frame: An F-15E Strike Eagle flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker during an in-air refueling mission over Afghanistan, July 17, 2013. (Air Force photo by SSgt. Marleah Miller)


Medal of Honor Recipient Bud Day Dies
Retired Col. George E. "Bud" Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, died on July 27 in Shalimar, Fla., following a long illness. He was 88. "I owe my life to Bud, and much of what I know about character and patriotism," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was Day's cellmate in captivity in Hanoi. "He was the bravest man I ever knew," said McCain. Day's funeral service is scheduled for Thursday in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., with burial at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., according to press reports. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Day was born on Feb. 24, 1925. He served as a marine in World War II and then became an Air Force pilot during the Korean War. On Aug. 26, 1967, the North Vietnamese shot down Day's F-100 Super Sabre during a dangerous forward air control mission. He endured extreme hardship and torture in captivity. On March 14, 1973, Day regained his freedom. After recuperating, he returned to active flying status. He then retired from active duty in 1977 as the most decorated officer in the service's history and went on to practice law in Florida, becoming a crusader for veterans' issues. Day chronicled his Vietnam War experiences in the 1989 book Return with Honor. (See Associated Press report, via the Colorado Springs Gazette, and Sioux City Journal report.) (See also The Strength of Bud Day and Valor: The Long Road to Freedom from Air Force Magazine's archives.)
The stories at the last two links are well worth your time.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Into the Clearing At the End o' the Path...

Colonel George "Bud" Day, at 88 years of age, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  Here's Col. Day's fact sheet at
A veteran of three wars and the first commander of the Misty FACs, Col. George "Bud" Day is one of the most highly-decorated Airmen in USAF history. After being shot down in 1967, Day persistently defied his captors, for which he was mercilessly tortured. Day received the Medal of Honor and Air Force Cross for his determined and selfless resistance.

In 1942, at age 17, Bud Day enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he served on a gun battery on Johnson Island for about two years. After the war he earned a law degree and was commissioned in the Iowa Air National Guard. Called to active duty in 1951, he completed pilot training and flew two tours in the Far East as an F-84 pilot during the Korean War.

In 1967, 43-year-old Maj. Bud Day volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia, and became commander of the Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, COMMANDO SABRE. This unit was better known by its radio call sign -- Misty -- which was Day's favorite song. On Aug.27, 1967, on his 26th Misty FAC mission, Day was shot down by ground fire over North Vietnam. During the ejection, Day's right arm was broken in three places, along with other injuries. His crewman was quickly picked up by a rescue helicopter, but Day was captured by local militia, beaten and tortured.

After five days, he escaped. In spite of his serious injuries and missing his boots, he traveled over 25 miles. During his arduous travel, he ate only local fruit and raw frogs, and he was further injured when a bomb went off nearby. After about 10 days, Day made it across the Ben Hai River into South Vietnam and a few days later was about two miles away from the Marine base at Con Thien. Tragically, Viet Cong insurgents discovered Day and shot him in the left thigh and left hand.

After being recaptured, Day was returned to the camp from which he escaped. His guards made him pay heavily for his escape, beating him severely. They then forced him to walk many miles to a prison at Vinh, where he was interrogated and further tortured. But, Day did not reveal any useful information to the enemy.

Taken to the "Hanoi Hilton" a short time later, Day endured years of agonizing treatment. Many of his injuries did not heal properly, and his weight dropped to about 100 pounds. Still, Day remained defiant. In the spring of 1968, he was taken to the "Zoo," a punishment camp for "hard resisters." There, he was beaten so hard his vision became blurred. After Ho Chi Minh died in the fall of 1969, the POWs' situation improved somewhat, but Day was still singled out for special treatment.

In 1973, after 67 grueling months in captivity, he was released. The damage by the enemy permanently scarred Day's body, but he tenaciously fought to get well. A year later he was back on flight status, and he qualified as an F-4 pilot. Col Day became vice commander of the 33th Tactical Fighter Wing, and he retired from active service in 1976.
RIP, Sir.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Occasional Reader and Constant Correspondent Lin sends the following along...


Along these same lines... MANY'S the time I find myself standing in the kitchen... with or without the fridge door open... thinkin' "What did I come in here for, anyway?"

Saturday: Comparative Linguistics

OK, a lil bit over-done with the guy in the Tyrolean hat.  But the French girl... elle est charmant, n'est pas?

The first runner-up was John Oliver's take on the royal baby, but I just couldn't go there.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

We called Happy Hour early today... some might say it was a Liquid Lunch and I wouldn't argue... partly coz we embarked on the day at an ungodly hour (see below) but mostly coz we CAN. Our soundtrack was provided by RP again, coz it's just too damned hot outdoors to open up the house and play our own music.  We were pleased, indeed, to hear two Dylan covers and an original as we sipped our first brew o' the day... like this (those times are PDT, just in case ya don't know):

All three of those tunes are favorites, some less so than others.  But I was struck by this most-excellent cover of "Buckets" by Neko Case:

I've posted the song before, but it was Bobby's original version.  I also got some sensitive body parts caught in the wringer for comments I made on that post, so we'll refrain from commenting further... except to say Ms. Case does an excellent job on the tune.

But I won't take it back.
With apologies to Skip, for stealin' his formatting tricks.


I prefer the former state to the latter state, except for the fact I DON'T feel like crap.  I feel perfectly fine.  Well, sorta.

There's this about that... we were awakened at oh-dark-thirty this morning, twice.  Once by a message from SN1 at 0452 hrs (precisely, coz the mePhone would NOT let me ignore it, what with beeping until I accessed said message) and again at 0835 hrs by a call from a nice person at Roosevelt General to update me on my request for full-time oxygen, which has fallen victim to the MediScare bureaucracy.  I may have to go back to the clinic for another series of tests to verify I cannot breathe properly in order to satisfy the Death Panels.  Or they may just let me slowly expire... one never knows.

So, we gave up trying to sleep after the call from RGH, rolled our ol' ass outta bed, tossed down a couple o' cups, showered, and journeyed out to Cannon Airplane Patch to run a few errands.  In the course o' doin' so I was politely (yes, politely) requested by the Airman on the gate to "slow it down a little when approaching the gate."  Which kinda shocked me, given as how one has to slalom through a series of concrete barriers in order to actually GET to the gate.  I've always looked at those barriers as a sort of challenge... kinda like a gymkhana... the object bein' to get through them as quickly as possible without pranging the sheet metal.  It turns out the skycops take a rather dim view of my exhibition of driving skill in this space.  So we smiled, said "Yessir, yessir, three bags full, sir" and were on our merry way.

It's always sumthin'.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In Today's Mail

We would call this "more cigar art," but it's really not.  Partagas opts for traditional packaging, which is still rather spiffy in my (not so) humble opinion.  Like this:

There's a bit of a mystery here, as well.  I found these thingies in the shipment, in addition to the cigars:

Those are four cubes... approximately three-quarters of an an inch per side... of what appears to be green granite, packed in an embroidered canvas bag.  Exactly what I'm supposed to DO with them is what I'm wonderin'.   The only thing I can think of is they're meant to be frozen and used in your drink in lieu o' ice.  Or mebbe they're slingshot ammo.


From the Usual USAF Source...
Combat Controllers Awarded Silver Star
Air Force Special Operations Command chief Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presented TSgt. Ismael Villegas and SSgt. Dale Young each with a Silver Star Medal for gallantry in combat on separate occasions near Helmand province, Afghanistan. The award ceremony took place on July 22 at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., where both combat controllers are currently assigned, according to a base release. Villegas is now the Air Force's only two-time Silver Star recipient currently on active duty, states the release. "Gentlemen, your bravery and tenacity epitomize what being a warrior is all about," said Fiel. "Your stories are truly inspiring." The Air Force recognized Villegas for his heroics "during nonstop enemy engagements" from Feb. 6-24, 2011. He controlled numerous strike aircraft that took out eight enemy fighting positions and killed more than 20 insurgents. He also gathered intelligence at great risk and pulled to safety a teammate hit by shrapnel. The Air Force honored Young for his actions from May 19-23, 2009, when he was under continuous enemy fire for 94 hours. He controlled coalition aircraft and ensured effective fires on enemy positions; this mission also resulted in the destruction of "more than $1 billion in black tar opium," states the release. (Lackland report by Mike Joseph)
Close inspection of the photo reveals TSgt Villegas also has a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, in addition to his two Silver Stars.  The actions in February 2011 definitely wasn't his first rodeo; the sergeant has been deployed eight times in his 16 year career. 

This release also makes me wonder why the process for awarding medals takes so damned long... in that SSgt Young waited over four years before he was presented with his Silver Star.  Sergeant Young had this to say about that:
"I was surprised," Young said. "It was submitted as a Bronze Star with Valor and after statements from some of my team members, different boards recommended an upgrade to Silver Star. It's an honor."
Well, sorta, eh?  "Different boards." One wonders how many boards hoops this sergeant had to jump through, but I suppose it doesn't matter in the end.

Congratulations, Sergeants Villegas and Young.  Your nation is proud of you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Van, singin' his signature tune...

I've seen Mr. Morrison on numerous occasions but NONE were better than this:

That was in London in 1982, and that particular concert was THE highlight o' my rock 'n' roll life.  The Second Mrs. Pennington and I had great seats... in the third row of the balcony, IIRC... but we rushed the stage for the encore: Caravan.  I swear to the Deity At Hand that we were close enough to reach out and touch his shoes and I also swear The Man might have spit on me, as well.  Did we rock out?  Yes, we DID.

We were buzzed for days after that evening, if not months... and I remember that evening as if it were last week.  Sometimes it bees like that.

You, Too, Can Join In!

Get yer sexting name here!  Here's mine...

"Hey, Babeeeee..."

H/t:  Cassandra at VC.

Plane Pr0n

From the Usual USAF Source...

Air Frame: An F-22 Raptor assigned to JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, takes off from the base, July 13, 2013. (Air Force photo by TSgt. Dana Rosso)

I wanna see one of these guys at an airshow someday.  Word is they put on one helluva show.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When Weather Reports Collide

Weather Underground and Google disagree...

Whatever.  It's hot outside and a lil more humid than usual, too.  Our jury is out on whether to have an al fresco Happy Hour today.  That said, it IS perfect G&T weather, innit?

Scrapin' the Bottom o' the Blogging Barrel...

... with this:

As for the new royal baby boy?  Congrats!  As for the vid?  Rue, Britannia.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I HATE It When That Happens!

Poor Marie.  She was SO misunderstood.  She had really nice digs, though.

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

A lil Bizet for ya (and me)...

Apropos o' the above:

It's not pr0n, it's ART.  And while we're on about art, that would be MY hand at lower left.

There Weren't Any Bids, Anyhoo

Pretty funny, in a droll way.

In other news... remember this?  Only four bloggers in my sidebar have anything to say today.  I know... the day ain't over.  But, still.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Sunday Re-Run

So... we went trolling through the archives lookin' for a re-post (coz I got nuthin') (again) and found this:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tonight's After Dinner Whiskey Hour Soundtrack

Mick and the boys sing Dylan...

I went looking for Leon Russell's version of this ol' chestnut but apparently it doesn't exist on the Tube O' You or elsewhere.  Which is too bad, coz I think Leon does this tune better than anyone else.  So, it's Mick.

Just for the record... we were listenin' to Bobby's original this evening, which ain't on the Tube O' You either.  It's rare that we strike out when we go lookin' for a song, but it does happen.

Saturday: Around the Inter-tubes

Niagara Falls, from the Usual Saturday Source...

I'd like to see the same views shot at night when the falls are all lit up.  That's one helluva sight to see.

In this morning's mail...
I can't believe you just shit in my hand.

And then there's this:


Yes.  It's past time someone said this.

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Cigar (Box) Art

In today's mail and just in time for Happy Hour...

That's a rather simple natural wood box with no finish but with a pretty cool glass top, all the better to see those tubed Cain Lanceros.  You can see our last example o' cigar art in the background... I've yet to decide how to purpose that box.

But now it's out to the verandah to (a) drink a G&T (or two) and (b) sample one of those Lanceros.

It's Always Sumthin', Stupidity Division

I was given a mouth-guard to wear at night at the conclusion of our latest Adventures In Modern Dentistry, i.e., when I got my two new bridges and the last of several implants, the purpose bein' to prevent damage to these very expensive modern dental appliances in the event I grind my teeth while sleeping.  Not that I've ever done THAT... at least not to my knowledge... but what do I know?  I'm asleep, after all.  So I dutifully wear the thing every night.

Until last night.

I don't even know how this is possible, but I managed to lose the mouth-guard.  This event completely baffles me, as I always take the damned thing out in either one of two places: my bathroom (if I spend a "normal" night in my spiffy bed) or at the kitchen sink, if I spend the night on my spiffy couch.  I rinse the appliance and let it air dry on the sink and the only exception to this ritual is the prescribed once-a-week soak in Efferdent.  No other exceptions, none.

Yet I lost it.  It's gone.

I'm actually beginning to think someone snuck in the house and stole it coz I just could NOT be this damned stoopid.

So now I'm gonna have to pay for a replacement mouth-guard.  It's always SUMTHIN'.

Update, 1600 hrs.  Nevermind.  Found, in the door of my fridge.  I keep a baggie o' pre-cut lime wedges in my fridge and apparently the mouth-guard got stuck to that baggie at some point yesterday.  Yeah, I KNOW... it MIGHT be time to change out that baggie. 

But we ARE relieved.


Yup, they DO love irony!

You know where this came from.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack: Skies

All eyes on the skies today, which have been rather dramatic.  Like so...

Looking due north

Looking due west

Looking southeast

It would only follow that we'd do a little bit o' Floyd...

We get more than enough o' those crystal-clear, brilliant, and somewhat unforgiving blue skies in this part o' the world.  The sort o' days that we've been experiencing these last couple o' few are rare indeed, and we're drinkin' them in like a parched man at an oasis.  We've had a lot o' rain this week and our humidity has soared as a result but even in spite o' that it's oh-so-good, Gentle Reader... oh, yes... it IS.

We Won! We Won!

From an article in the WSJ...
You know the beer drinkers have won when you can fill your growler with local craft beer at a drugstore.

The craft beer craze isn't slowing down, and as the number of breweries grows, so has the popularity of growlers—64-ounce reusable jugs that can be filled to take off the premises. With growlers, you get fresh beer. Often it is beer that is not available in bottles or cans. And you get it in a local, environmentally friendly way. 


There are now as many breweries in the U.S.—2,500—as there were before Prohibition, which ran from 1920 to 1933, says Julia Herz, craft beer program director of the Brewers Association, a trade group based in Boulder, Colo. Survey data from the Brewers Association suggests that most craft beer drinkers are young, male and wealthier than average: More than 77% of craft beer volume is consumed by people who make more than $50,000 a year. Surveys show they prefer beer brewed locally to mass-produced, bottled options. 
Well, now.  Howzabout THAT?  I've been known to fill a growler or three meself, and yeah... we do like to drink locally.

Whistling Past the Graveyard?

I first noticed the phenomenon when I read this piece in the NYT two years ago, which was further reenforced by the demise of about one-third of the blogs in my sidebar.  "Blogging is dead," claimed the Times and my personal experience seemed to validate that "fact."  A lot o' people I used to read simply abandoned the medium for the hated Facebook... mainly coz FB is easier to update and it's easier to read (that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it).  You'll see a lot of articles similar to that old Times piece if you google "death of blogs."  OTOH, you'll also find this light at the end o' the tunnel:
Do a search-and-replace on "blog" and you could rewrite the coverage as evidence of the death of television, novels, short stories, poetry, live theatre, musicals, or any of the hundreds of the other media that went from breathless ascendancy to merely another tile in the mosaic.


When blogging was the easiest, most prominent way to produce short, informal, thinking-aloud pieces for the net, we all blogged. Now that we have Twitter, social media platforms and all the other tools that continue to emerge, many of us are finding that the material we used to save for our blogs has a better home somewhere else. And some of us are discovering that we weren't bloggers after all – but blogging was good enough until something more suited to us came along.
Mr. Doctorow goes on to say blogging is alive and well, even if the audiences are smaller than they used to be.  Well, OK, Cory.  I hope you're right... but I'm thinkin' the war is over and us bloggers are fighting a rear-guard action.  Further evidence is in my SiteMeter numbers, which continue to tell me a sad, sad story.  

All THAT said, it'll be a cold day in Hell before I reactivate my FB page.  Mebbe I'll just start tweeting more or get back to G+ (which I hardly ever visit these days).  Or perhaps I'll just stand here in front of the empty barn and continue shouting at the owls, as Lileks so colorfully put it quite some time ago.


Update, 1104 hrs:  Speakin' o' Twitter...


Idiots Among Us

Ramirez gets it right, including the Dr. Hook parody.  I stopped reading RS sometime in the mid-'90s, after having been a subscriber since the late '60s.  I'd damned sure be cancelling my subscription today, were it still active.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


My Buddy Ed In Florida sends the following along...
After the eighty-three year old lady finished her annual physical examination, the doctor said, "You are in fine shape for your age, Dorothy, but tell me, do you still have intercourse?"

"Just a minute, I'll have to ask my husband," she said.

She stepped out into the crowded reception room and yelled out loud:
"Bruce, do we still have intercourse?"

And there was a hush...

You could hear a pin drop.

He answered impatiently, "If I told you once, Dorothy, I told you a hundred times... what we have is...

Blue Cross!

In other news... our WX right now:
I'm having to wear a long-sleeved shirt out on the verandah, mainly coz my personal R-factor is rather low and it feels downright chilly outside!  That said, the weather's freakin' loverly and we most certainly are NOT lookin' a gift horse in the mouth.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

James McMurtry...

When cornered you complain about the state of your career
And you look intently straight ahead, pretending I'm not here
And you look me in the eye and say "It's not about us"
And you tell me I'm so silly to be making such a fuss
So everything's okay except you're nervous as a cat
But what's it say about me if you think I'd fall for that?
Come on
Where'd you hide the body?
Where'd you stash the loot?
Just keep your hands where I can see them
And maybe I won't shoot
Heh.  This song (full lyrics here) always brings a wry smile to my face, mainly coz I most certainly coulda wrote this song if I had a scintilla of the poet in my soul.  But I don't... and I'm grateful for those that DO, coz I saw this movie... when it was playin' in my local theatre... and it wasn't pretty.  At all.


I loves me some trompe l'oeil.

From a tweet by .

Monday, July 15, 2013

♫ ♪ What a Difference a Day Makes... ♪ ♫

... 24 lil hours.


Amazing, ain't it?  While we're at it, here's Dinah...


They're Everywhere

Hipsters.  Well, I don't see many of 'em here in P-Ville, but there ARE a few at ENMU.  Apparently  there are hipster-bikers, too... according to this editorial I read in the August issue of Motorcyclist magazine.

"Squids."  Yup, that's what we called 'em, back in the day... and I saw PLENTY of 'em.  Guys riding around in SoCal clad only in bathing suits and flip-flops... no leather, no helmet, no boots.  I used to shudder at the thought of having to clean up an accident scene involving one of those guys, or worse: being the trauma MD in an emergency room somewhere.  I was pretty fortunate in my early biker days, mainly because my friends... the guys I rode with... impressed upon me the importance of "dressing for the slide, not the ride."  I did just that... wrapping myself in leather, heavy boots, and a Bell Star on my head.  The upshot was I never lost much blood during my 45 years o' riding.  

As the editorial above implies... you gotta be young and dumb before ya get old and wise.  I see plenty o' people on bikes here in P-Ville that fit the first part o' that sayin', and I hope they live long enough to get wise.

And... just for the record... RDs weren't just a mount for squids.  Some really cool guys rode those thingsparty smileys

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

High-tech music on traditional Japanese instruments.  I have a feelin' the Yoshida Bros just MIGHT be an acquired taste, but I sure like 'em.  Thanks, RP.

In other news... it's hotter than Hades outdoors at the moment.  This hot...

There are thunderstorms in the forecast for later and I can't WAIT!  But in the meantime, it's back outdoors to continue as we've begun.


"You can never go home again," or so it's said.  Well, you CAN go home... just don't expect it to look the same as when you left.  I've mentioned Fortuna AFS, North Dakota several times in these pages (one such mention here)... a place I was stationed for one year, three days, eight hours and ten minutes.  Not that we were counting, or anything.  But we digress.  Great good friend and partner-in-crime (I mean that last quite literally) Lori from the Fortuna days gave us a link to a sad and comprehensive photo essay on what remains of Fortuna AFS today.  A couple o' pics from that essay follow.

Then, c. 1977.  I was there in '77 and worked on that big-ass checkerboard antenna*.

Now, c. 2013.

You can see Part One of "Fortuna Air Force Station" here, Part II is here.  I was a radar guy for 16 years of my 22-year USAF career and nearly ALL of the sites I was stationed at are either gone or will be soon.  It's kinda-sorta like bein' a Squid and seein' yer former home turned into an artificial reef or cut up to make razor blades.  Mebbe worse, I dunno.

* "The system suffered frequent bearing problems as the antenna weighed seventy tons."  That's from a brief article on the FPS-35, with some interesting pics.  I managed to get through MY year at Fortuna without antenna bearing problems.  I had problems of a different sort, like working on the antenna deck in the winter, when ambient... NOT wind-chill... temps fell to ten or 20 degrees below zero.  That was more "fun" than one is supposed to have.

C'est le Quatorze Juillet!

Bastille Day, in other words.  The fambly and I would take up position on the Champs d' Elysee early in the morning on Bastille Day every year we were in Paris and the parades were pretty extraordinary back in the mid-1950s.  And there's this, about the parade:

That's a member of the French Republican Guards.  You see that helmet?  I had one of those as a child... minus the red plumage... all bright, highly polished chrome with a gen-u-wine horse's tail flowing down the back out of that golden top piece.  That casque was one of my favorite childhood treasures and I have NO ideer what happened to it.  More's the pity, eh?

Happy Bastille Day to mes amis!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack, In Which We Re-Visit An Old Friend

It's no secret that we loves us some Pandora, and it's an open secret Pandora provides us with the better part of our daily soundtrack, when the WX is such that we cannot listen to our own music.  But Pandora has grown stale these last few days, if not weeks, given the rather predictable nature o' the songs we hear... even given the various and numerous different stations we've defined on the service.  I have no ideer how Pandora chooses its music but I have a sneakin' suspicion the playlist is chosen... in part... by the number of "likes" the listener gives the various tunes.  So, Pandora has become eminently predictable for better or worse, and in my case it's MOST definitely worse: I've become bored with Pandora.

So it was today that we re-visited Radio Paradise (RP) and  downloaded their spiffy app onto the mePhone.  I was gratified to learn RP is alive and well and we've spent most of the day... including today's Happy Hour... listenin' to RP.  The thing I love about RP?  It's oh-so-eclectic.  Example (see here for the current playlist):

RP does radio like radio ought be done, which is to say like late-'70s free form radio.  There are other options on these inter-tubes if you like that sorta eclecticism, and college radio comes to mind.  But RP does it for me....

So, today's tune...

That's from "So," an album The Second Mrs. Pennington took with her when we split the blanket.  I've never replaced that album for some unknown reason... well, THAT'S not true, the truth bein' that the album and the songs therein cause an immeasurable amount o' pain.  But, Hey!  It's good to hear some of these songs every now and again.

It's good to hear RP again, too.  I'm thinkin' we won't be back to Pandora for quite a while.